College Sports

NEWTON: Relaxed Railers roll to tourney title

NEWTON — Shortly after the Newton girls lost to McPherson nearly two weeks ago, coach Randy Jordan asked his players what they wanted from him. They bluntly told him to chill out.

"They said, 'Coach, you need to lighten up,' " Jordan recalled. "'You're too hard on us, let us play, let us have fun.' What do you say to that?"

Jordan listened, and since then, the Railers have relaxed. Some of that is due to the reduced pressure since they're no longer undefeated, but most of it is Jordan's changed attitude.

Saturday, in the championship of the Newton tournament, the Railers did little wrong in their 61-38 victory over Olathe Northwest (10-2). The Railers felt free to smile, even after a bad missed shot. Olathe Northwest never threatened, and Newton played controlled, poised. They made it look easy.

"We got beat on all accounts today," Olathe Northwest coach Joel Branstrom said.

Kate Lehman had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks for Newton (12-1). Kendra Scott scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds, while Avery Vogts had a team-high 16 points.

"Their offense, it was incredible shooting," Branstrom said. "They had like six layup attempts in the whole game, and they made two of them. That's a lot of jump shots made."

The Railers opened the game hitting six of their first eight shots for the 13-2 lead at the 4:43 mark.

"That's how the tournament has gone for us for the most part," Jordan said. "When we execute, people have had no answer.... Inside the arc, we're above 50 percent (shooting)."

Defensively, Newton was strong, too, forcing 20 turnovers, including three on the Ravens' first three possessions. Newton guard Maddie Pendry had four steals and Scott had two.

And Lehman, with her ability to block shots, stymied Olathe Northwest, which prefers to drive down the middle to the basket. Newton's defensive plan was to funnel the Ravens toward Lehman, and it worked.

On one Olathe Northwest possession early in the second period, Ravens guard Mackaela Carter drove inside and had her shot blocked. The Ravens got the team rebound, Carter drove again and Lehman got another block. After yet another team rebound, Olathe Northwest forward Michaela Crall tried to score inside, and Lehman blocked that, too.

"That was fun," she said. "I don't know why they just keep shooting, but they do."

Lehman said it with a smile. No doubt, the Railers are having fun.

Newton (12-1) 19 11 14 17 — 61 Olathe Northwest (10-2) 9 5 6 18 — 38

NEWTON: Scott 12, Vogts 16, K. Lehman 14, Hiebert 9, Pendry 8, A. Lehman 2. Totals 19 (4) 19-23 61.

OLATHE NORTHWEST: Neal 2, Jackson 17, Carter 6, Crall 11, Poulter 2. Totals 16 (2) 4-9 38.

Dodge City 46, Kapaun 39 — Heading into the fourth quarter of the fifth-place game, Kapaun appeared to have some momentum after back-to-back three-pointers from Lindsey Medina and Laurel Lujano had gotten the Crusaders within three.

"You look out there and we feel that we're in it, and the defense is scrapping," Kapaun coach Damian Smithhisler said. "They believed they were right there."

Dodge City opened the fourth, though, with two easy baskets and a steal. The Demons built the lead to 40-33 with 5:38 to go and held Kapaun scoreless for nearly six minutes.

Kapaun Mount Carmel (5-7) 8 7 14 10 — 49 Dodge City (9-3) 11 11 10 14 — 46

KAPAUN: Andersen 3 0-0 6, Lantz 3 0-0 6, Kuhn 2 2-3 6, Lujano 2 0-0 5, Shaw 0 0-0 0, McAuliffe 4 0-0 8, Kubik 1 0-0 2, Medina 2 0-0 6, Kollar 0 0-1 0. Totals 17 (3) 2-4 39.

DODGE CITY: Thompason 2 0-0 4, Buckner 6 1-2 13, Pencis 3 3-4 9, Stephenson 3 0-0 6, Briggs 5 1-3 14. Totals 19 (3) 5-9 46.

Andover Central 58, Rose Hill 48 _ Andover Central had its best game this season as it finished seventh. The Jaguars scored a season-high and shot 25 of 55 from the floor.

Sophomore Justyce Perez scored a game-high 24 points on 11-of-20 shooting, had six rebounds and blocked five shots. Junior Cami Gee had 16 points.

Rose Hill (8-4) 9 6 15 18 — 48 Andover Central (5-8) 8 19 18 13 — 58

ROSE HILL: Webber 12, Justice 10, Bartley 3, Downing 11, Burnett 12. Totals 18 (5) 7-14 48.

ANDOVER CENTRAL: Perez 24, Gee 16, Stiverson 5, Huelskamp 2, Stamp 9, Krutchmar 2. Totals 25 (6) 2-9 58.

  Comments